Wildlife Sanctuaries of Shimla | Shimla Reserve Forest Sanctuary

Explore the Wildlife Sanctuaries of Shimla

Tall, narrow trees hitting the morning light

Shimla accommodates a number of wildlife sanctuaries that are home to a variety of flora and fauna. In recent times, rapid industrialization has sidelined the presence of nature. Therefore, it is pivotal to maintain ecological balance through the preservation of wildlife sanctuaries. To protect this very cause, Shimla offers a myriad of sanctuaries that you must explore during your next trip.

Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary

Shimla Water Catchment Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most popular sanctuaries in the hill station. It is located about 10 km from Shimla Railway Station and is positioned on the eastern exit of Hindustan Tibet Road. This sanctuary was the erstwhile property of the famous Rana of Koti. It is an important area that has great conservation value.

Morning sunlight seeping through the woods

The sanctuary was established in the year of 1990. Previously, it was designated as a national park, but due to its conservation value, the government renamed it a wildlife sanctuary. It is perched at a height of nearly 2600 metres above sea level and offers panoramic views of the surrounding areas. This sanctuary falls under the care of Shimla Municipal Corporation up to the year 2009, post which the reigns were transferred to Shimla Wildlife Division.

It is spread over an area of 10.25 sq. km and is rich in biodiversity. It is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Some of the common species that are found in this sanctuary include the Indian leopard, Rhesus Macaque, barking deer and many other species. The sanctuary is also filled with a wide range of trees such as the Ban Oak, Himalayan Pine and Mohru Oak.

A jaguar looking at the camera
Barking Deer sniffing the grass

Due to the sanctuary’s water catchment area, a lot of rainwater gets collected across different areas present around the sanctuary. The collected water is then purified at a local plant, which serves as a major source of water for the local residents. In addition to the animal sighting, travellers who visit this place can also indulge in hiking and biking activities as well. Visitors who plan on exploring this venue either on foot or on a bike need to be aware of the surroundings and ensure that they travel with a trained guide. Guides can accompany guests to explore the different areas of the sanctuary while also keeping a close eye on the from any animal attacks.

View of several pine trees with god covered in the background

Reserve Forest Sanctuary

Reserve Forest Sanctuary is another wildlife sanctuary that is the perfect place for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers. It features magnificent views of attractions like Rakta Dhar, Deo Tibba, Badrinath and the Pir Panjal mountains. The Shimla reserve forest sanctuary spans over an area of 951 hectares and is a picturesque place to visit.

This sanctuary is known for its wide variety of flora, fauna and avifauna species. Take a trip to this Shimla wildlife sanctuary that is located away from the complexities of the concrete jungle. Here, nature enthusiasts can spot a variety of animals such as barking deers, leopards, monkeys and many other creatures. The reserve is also populated by trees such as oak, pine and cedar that add to the scenic beauty of the place. Take a trip to Reserve Forest Sanctuary and enjoy solitude in the lap of nature.

Chail Sanctuary

Chail Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary in Shimla, spread over an area of 110 sq. km. It is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in Shimla and is home to a variety of animal species. It was established in 1976 and was declared as a protected sanctuary during its direct control under the government that oversees its upkeep and maintenance.

A bear roaming about in the Wildlife sanctuary in Shimla

This Shimla Wildlife Sanctuary is home to many animals such as the Himalayan Black bear, wild boar, common langur and the European deer. The European deer was not native to this area and was introduced to this sanctuary less than 50 years ago by the former Maharaja of Patiala. The park also features a rehabilitation and breeding facility for Chir birds. These birds were among the endangered species and recent efforts have helped in increasing their numbers in the surrounding areas. In addition to the Chir Pheasant, there are other species such as the Golden eagle, Grey-headed flycatcher and the Khalij pheasant that are present in the area.

Guests who are looking for a lavish place to relax and stay after a long day of visiting the wildlife sanctuaries can head over to The Orchid Hotel Shimla. It is a top-notch hotel that is ensconced in a beautiful location, which seeks to offer the best hospitality experience to patrons.